By Michele Linn published October 31, 2014

How To Turn Your Customers into Brand Fans: 3 Examples


Is there anything better for you as a marketer than having your customers share their passion for your company or product?

Not much.

In the content marketing space, we spend a lot of time (maybe too much time) focused on brand awareness. We don’t focus enough energy on using content to turn our customers into advocates or strengthen their evangelism for our brands.Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 24, 2014

Is Paid Advertising Worth It? B2B Content Marketers Share Their Insights

dollars-426026_640Did you know effective B2B marketers are using paid advertising more often than their less effective peers?

While we have talked a lot about the need for a documented content marketing strategy, CMI research also reveals that effective marketers are using more paid advertising, which makes sense. As we often say, you need to market your marketing. And, while earned and owned media are quite prominent, those who fare better in content marketing rely on paid media as well. Our qualitative, executive research and conversations with marketing leaders reveal the same thing.

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By Michele Linn published October 17, 2014

A Single Version of Truth: One Key to Content Marketing Measurement Success


Content marketing measurement is something that has received a lot of attention lately, and it’s not hard to understand why. According to our new research, B2B Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America:

  • Forty-nine percent of B2B marketers struggle with measuring content marketing effectiveness (up from 33 percent last year).
  • Only 21 percent of B2B marketers are having success tracking ROI.

In fact, when we had our Executive Forum in the spring, finding the best way to measure was the “big idea” most of the marketing leaders wanted to solve.

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By Michele Linn published October 10, 2014

How to Build a Better Content Marketing Strategy

better-content-marketingI would argue that a lot of marketers don’t understand what [a content marketing strategy] means. They think culling together a bunch of tactics is actually a strategy, but it’s not.
—Ardath Albee

Unless you have a focus on what it is you are trying to achieve with your content or your digital marketing in general, you will get distracted.
—Nick Panayi

These quotes are just two key points made in a recent roundtable discussion CMI developed around our B2B content marketing research. This series of conversations explores the “whys” behind our findings and provides expert advice on ways that content marketers can make their efforts more efficient and successful.

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By Michele Linn published November 26, 2013

The Dos and Don’ts of Outsourcing Content Creation

cmi research roundtableMarketers are always challenged to find enough time to accomplish every task they are charged with, so outsourcing a job like content creation may seem like an obvious solution. But, is it really an easy solution, when you factor in all the requirements of quality content marketing?

According to our annual content marketing research, about 50 percent of marketers outsource some aspect of content creation, with writing and design being the top things they get help with.Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published November 15, 2013

How to Create a Documented Content Marketing Strategy: 36 Questions

36 questions to answer-coverIn this year’s content marketing research, one new question we asked was whether organizations were creating more or less content, compared to a year ago — and the majority of marketers are doing just that. Does that sound intimidating? Do you feel this is a positive trend, or one that just creates greater challenges?

This debate leads off our second roundtable discussion on the results of our B2C content marketing study. But, hold tight — what we learned holds lessons for anyone who is using content marketing, including those who work in B2B and nonprofit industries. Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published November 7, 2013

How B2C Marketers are Using LinkedIn: Opportunities and Examples

research roundtable-part oneLinkedIn for B2C? According to our recent B2C Content Marketing 2014: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends, 71 percent of B2C marketers in North America are using LinkedIn (up from 51 percent last year). But, only 42 percent of users find this channel to be effective.

While it’s common to hear that B2B marketers are using LinkedIn, is it a good channel for B2C, as well? And, more importantly, how can B2C marketers who are using LinkedIn be more effective?

We set out to answer these questions, and others, in our first of three B2C research roundtables.Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 25, 2013

What the Future Holds for B2B Content Marketing: Experts Look Ahead

b2b research roundtable-part 3While the Content Marketing Institute team digs into our research stats each year to see what trends are characterizing the current state of B2B content marketing, we have also found that one of the best ways to advance the conversation is to look forward. Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 20, 2013

How to Overcome the B2B Content Marketing Time Crunch

b2b research roundtable part 2 screenshotIf you are like 69 percent of B2B content marketing professionals, you feel challenged by a lack of enough time — in fact, 30 percent of content marketers consider this to be their greatest challenge. As someone who lives and breathes in the content marketing space, I can relate to feeling overwhelmed. But is this reported time crunch a legitimate excuse for failing to realize the full potential of content, or just a way to justify a lack of optimal success?

In a continuing roundtable series focused on the newest B2B content marketing research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, industry experts Ardath Albee, Michael Brenner, Carla Johnson, Michael Weiss, and Todd Wheatland discuss the validity of this challenge. A huge thanks to Shiri Friedman from Brightcove for moderating this discussion. Continue Reading

By Michele Linn published October 11, 2013

Social Media Content Channels: How and When to Focus Your Efforts

b2b research roundtable screenshotLast week, Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs released a new study, B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America. Among its findings, evidence of one growing trend is clear: B2B marketers are using social media at higher rates now than ever before. On average, B2B marketers are leveraging six channels for social media content, compared to five last year.Continue Reading